Weather Report, October 4

Firefighter Prays On September 11
(Photo from CBS News)

Our currently featured books, “There You Will Feel Free,” by Nate Ragolia, “All Bleeding Stops,” by Michael J. Collins and “You Will Never Be Normal,” by Catherine Klatzker, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.


This week’s featured books offer different twists on the two most significant events to affect the United States in the 21st century.

Frank Napolitano’s novel “Day of Days” uses the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as a vehicle for depicting the firefighting profession as a whole. Meanwhile, David Belmont kept a journal during last year’s COVID-19 quarantine period, then turned it into poetry.



This visceral and unsettling novel tells the story of the firefighter’s life, culminating with the emergency response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on a spectacular September Tuesday in 2001. It portrays the courage, pain, and devotion of the men and women who respond when the alarm is sounded, who follow an unwritten code borne of necessity and preservation, and who sometimes pay the ultimate price so others may live.


Writes one reviewer: “David Belmont has written a collection of poems with a rock n roll heart, but with bebop wit. The rocker roots are obvious in the epigrams that set up most of the poems, along with pop-up allusions throughout (‘i hope we’ve stabbed it/with our steely knives’). Those legacy linkages are followed by arena choruses that are as fresh as newly sprayed graffiti: ‘coronavirus on tour,’ ‘social distancing on fluid parade.’ But what I found especially arousing in Belmont’s latest work is an edginess in cadence and tonality that is like some Dizzy Gillespie solos. (A cool cat like Lenny Bruce maybe, but more spare.) These jab at you (‘sports stadiums/now empty foxholes’), unbalance you (‘the lord of the flies/family book club’), and open your ears to alternative ways of keeping time (‘get tested/quantify/uncertainty’). ‘World Gone Zoom’ performs the pandemic with a musicality that reverberates with both rock and jazz. ”


This month we will revisit “Lost at Thaxton,” by Michael Jones, “The Sting of the Bee,” by Karen Lanning, “Missile Paradise” by Ron Tanner, “So Late for the Party,” by Kate Angus, “Miss Portland,” by David Ebenbach and “Clutching Lambs,” by Janet Passehl.

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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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